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  • Port of Kiel posts record cargo and passenger handling, up 5.3% and 3.4%, accordingly
  • 2017 January 17 18:42

    Port of Kiel posts record cargo and passenger handling, up 5.3% and 3.4%, accordingly

    Germany based Port of Kiel has posted record cargo and passenger handling figures in 2016. For the first time some 6.5 million tons were loaded or unloaded last year - an increase of 5.3 % over the previous year and the port’s best-ever result so far. Ferry services to Scandinavia and the Baltic region
    showed above-average growth, while trade with Russia continued to decline, the Port of Kiel press release said.

    Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) comments: “Kiel has achieved a record result. Increases of as much as 7.6 % were posted at the public terminal facilities operated by the PORT OF KIEL.” The port was able to win two important new customers in the past year - SCA and Iggesund Paperboard – and to open a new forest products terminal in the Ostuferhafen.

    “Investment in the paper business means we will continue to grow and can now set our sights on a seven million ton handling figure”, says Dirk Claus. “It is also of decisive importance that we have been able to expand the port’s logistics competence”, he added.

    Almost 2.1 million travellers were recorded on passenger services – an increase of 3.4 % over the previous year. All the ferry operators reported growth with Color Line posting the highest number of passengers. In the cruise shipping sector Kiel can look back on its most successful cruise shipping season ever with record results in the numbers of ship calls, passenger totals and overall tonnage.

    In the ferry sector, the Port of Kiel’s main business, services to Scandinavia and the Baltic region showed above-average growth in 2016. The lines serving Oslo, Gothenburg and Klaipeda made up three quarters of the total port handling and carried a good five million tons. This represents an increase of about 6 % over the previous year. The strongest growth rates were achieved on the Kiel-Klaipeda route, where daily departures have been on the time-table since April 2016. The journey time is 20 hours. Dirk Claus says: “The introduction of fast crossings, always at the same times, is proving very popular with loading agents and forwarders. The DFDS Kiel-Klaipeda service is the market leader in ferry services between Germany and the Baltic region”, he added. By contrast, direct ferry services to Russia last year had to contend with trade restrictions between the EU and Russia for the third year in a row. They have already paid for that by losing big parts of their former business.

    Russian forest products however remain largely unaffected and continue to be imported in significant quantities and stored in two warehouses in the Ostuferhafen.

    A total of more than 200,000 trucks, trailers and containers moved through Kiel last year on RoRo services to and from Scandinavia, the Baltic region and Russia, 5.5 % more than in the previous year. To these can be added 226,000 cars and import or export vehicles as well as busses, up 0.9 %. Overall well over 426,000 individual consignments were handled, a rise of 3 %. “Kiel is a main junction for ferry services to Scandinavia and the Baltic region”, says Dirk Claus. “And the expansion of the A7 and A21 motorways will make the port’s location even more attractive in future.”


    The new SCA forest products and logistics centre was officially opened in the Ostuferhafen on November 11th. The Swedish concerns SCA and Iggesund handled, stored and distributed an initial 300,000 tons of high-grade paper products there last year. This year that will rise to about 800,000 tons. Dirk Claus comments: “The paper products project adds a further mainstay to the Port of Kiel structure. The settlement of SCA means that one of the most important trading commodities in the Baltic region has now come back to the Kiel Fiord”. The new SCA terminal was built on a site of well over 16 hectares in the northern part of the Ostuferhafen. More than 50,000 m² of storage space is now available there in five port warehouses. A total of 25 million Euros have been invested and 80 new jobs created.

    SCA cargo vessels arrive in the Ostuferhafen every Monday and Saturday from Sundsvall (Sweden) and offload up to 160 cassettes of paper products. They range from cellulose through newsprint to kraft liners and cartonnage products for high-quality packaging - all destined for the German and European markets. In addition overseas containers are packed for shipment out of Hamburg to the Far East.

    Rail/ship intermodal transport volumes continued to grow in the year just ended. For the first time, more than 29.000 trailers and containers were loaded onto rail waggons at the rail terminals on Kiel’s Schwedenkai and in the Ostuferhafen - a rise of 4 %. The biggest increase was posted by the service to and from Verona, which operates five times a week in both directions. A further departure is being added in early February. “Seaport hinterland transport by rail is a success story”, says Dirk Claus. “To ensure that this remains the case, the performance capability of the port’s intermodal terminals is being further increased. Kiel will in future also be in a position to handle significantly longer train combinations”, he declares. As part of a programme to improve seaport hinterland transport, the German Government recently agreed to adapt the Kiel-Meimersdorf marshalling yards to cope with goods train combinations of up to 740 m in length – as against 550 m currently. The work will be carried out in 2018 and is absolutely essential for the port. As early as this year, the marshalling area at the Schwedenkai Terminal is meanwhile getting an additional rail track to optimise train movement and make more loading slots available.

    Last year 26 different cruise ships of more than 9.3 million GT – an increase of 8.1 % - berthed in Kiel a total of 147 times, compared to 132 calls in 2015. A total of 485,500 passengers boarded or disembarked from cruise ships at Kiel’s cruise shipping terminals. That was an increase of 6 % making 2016 Kiel’s best cruise shipping season ever. Arrival and passenger figures along with the overall tonnage figure are all records for the port. And even if the figures for the coming season do not quite reach those of last year, Kiel once again expects many a highlight in 2017. Right at the beginning of the
    season the 138,000 GT “MSC Fantasia” - 333 m long and for a maximum 3,970 passengers – will take her station on the Kiel Fiord. From April 29th the ship will undertake 21 cruises starting in Kiel.

    Dirk Claus says: “Our terminal facilities are designed to handle ship turn-abouts involving 4,000 passengers. As the base port for “MSC Fantasia” Kiel is exploiting this capability for the first time and is now entering a new dimension”, he adds. Further cruise seasonal highlights this year include the maiden voyage (June 3rd to 14th ) of TUI Cruises’ latest ship - “Mein Schiff 6” - to and from Kiel, as well as the Kieler Woche sailing regatta. During the Kieler Woche from June 17th to 25th, fifteen cruise ships will visit the port, among them Cunard Line’s “Queen Elizabeth”. From an operational point of view the PORT OF KIEL’s will focus mainly on the five occasions when three ships will be berthed in the port at the same time, as well as on June 3rd and August 12th – the dates on which four cruise ships will be berthed simultaneously in Kiel apart from the regular big ferries.

    As of the time of writing, 28 different cruise ships have registered for a total 133 calls during the 2017 cruise season. Some 440,000 passengers are expected in the port. The season opens on April 9th with the arrival of the “AIDAcara”. It closes on October 21st with the “AIDAvita”. In readiness for new regulations governing the disposal of waste water from ships, the Ostseekai cruise shipping terminal is being equipped with a reception plant and connected by pipeline to the city network. This will increase tenfold the current waste water capacity of 30 m³/hour.

    The port of Kiel is one of the most versatile and economic ports on the Baltic Sea. Its advantageous geographic location, constant deep water for seagoing vessels as well as its direct links to train and road networks make it attractive for both cargo handling and passenger traffic. There are daily ferry services to Oslo (Norway) and Gothenburg (Sweden) from Kiel’s inner harbour and seven departures a week from the Ostuferhafen to Klaipeda (Lithuania) as well as one weekly departure to both St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga (Russia). The PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) operates the commercial harbour Kiel on behalf of the state capital of Kiel.

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